ASK GASE 18.01.2013



Dear Gase,

I got married in December 2010 and in July 2011 my wife left me because I was not working and went back to her parents’ place.

There were some fights when I asked her to come back home. She then reported me to the police telling them that I threatened to kill her.

I filed for divorce in September 2012 and the case is still pending.

She then took me to the magistrate’s court claiming that I am not maintaining our child, and she took everything (property) from me without my consent.

Please help me because I am stressed up – I don’t know what to do since it seems this woman wants to see me dead or in prison. Please help me!


What you say is disturbing as if true it paints a depressing picture of property-grabbing sisters who give Batswana women a bad name.

The fact that your wife left you after only seven months of marriage just because you didn’t have a job should make you wonder if she ever really loved you.

It’s highly possible that she only married you for material gain, which would explain why she made a quick exit as soon as things didn’t go according to her plan.

Did you threaten to kill her? Threat to kill is an offence punishable by law, so I hope for your sake that you did not.

How old is your child and can you not offer to raise him/her yourself so that the maintenance issue can be put to rest?

After all, your wife left her matrimonial home of her own accord; you tried in vain to get her to come back home, so it’s not like you chased her and the child out of their home.

I believe you can still make an effort to get your child back and raise him/her yourself so that you can shut your wife up for good about this child maintenance thing.

I take it that when she took the property her intention was to take whatever belonged to her; but then she took ‘everything’, which means some of the property she took without your consent belongs to you.

Why did you not report her to the authorities for theft? What do parents and elders from both your families have to say about this state of affairs?

Did you not at some point approach them for mediation?

Below are a few institutions that can provide you with assistance/support.

Are you still unemployed? If you cannot afford a lawyer altogether, I understand that for Legal Aid you can write a letter to the Registrar of the High Court (Mr Nthomiwa) stating your predicament and why you need to be assisted with a pro bono lawyer.

Please call his office on 533 0585 or visit the District Commissioner’s office so that they can further explain the procedure to you.

For support and sharing of experiences with other men in situations similar to yours, contact Voice of Men on 75548995.

Last but not least, contact Heart & Hands of Compassion (7351 6022) or Lifeline Botswana (3911290) for counselling.


Dear Gase,

I’m a 57 year old father of four daughters. One of my daughters has beenimpregnated by an Afrikaner man. Pic-2

I met with him and told him that according to Setswana custom, my family will be sending a delegation to inform his family about the damage.

His responsewas that he’s against sending a delegation to his parents’ home.

He says that his family would be shocked that they’re expected to discuss the pregnancy since he’s a grown man who can handle his own affairs and look after the child without his parents’ involvement.

He says that besides, he doesn’t quite understand why bringing a brand new life into the world shouldbe referred to as ‘damage’, which I think was very rude of him to talk to me like that.

Clearly, he’s young and knows nothing about our culture. I’m tempted to go against his wishes and send a delegation to his family in South Africa. What do you advise I do?

Gase says…

Before you and your family spend your hard-earned money sending a delegation all the way to South Africa on a potentially unwelcome visit, please inform your daughter’s boyfriend of your intentions.

If you really must send a delegation to his parents you need him on your side, so it’s important to make him understand why this has to be done, so that he can in turn talk to his family well ahead of time to prepare them for the visit.

If after you speak to him again he’s still against the idea, then perhaps you should look at the matter from his point of view and find another way to deal with the pregnancy.


If he says he’s capable of looking after his own child without the involvement of his parents, then I guess you should respect his wishes.

I doubt that he meant to be rude when he expressed his opinion about Setswana referring to a new life as ‘damage’.

Remember that Afrikaners probably handle such matters very differently from the way we Batswana do.

On the other hand, he may one day wish to marry your daughter, in which case it would do him and his family good to learn about some of our Setswana customs, tradition, and culture.



Dear Gase,

My 25-year-old daughter broke up with her boyfriend last year. They were living together at his house, so she moved back home after they split up.

My husband, who is my daughter’s step-father, and I were supportive at first but we now feel that she is taking advantage of us.

She doesn’t pay rent or contribute to the household and goes out at weekends with her friends.

Last month she bought a man home and my husband found him in our kitchen on a Saturday morning.

My husband is what some would call ‘old-fashioned’ and was horrified.

I told my daughter not to do it again, but last weekend she bought another man home to spend the night.

My husband wants to ask her to leave the house but I am worried that she will have nowhere to go.

Out two younger daughters tell me I am too soft with her. I am torn over what to do. What do you think?

Gase says…

Your husband and other daughters are right. It is not about being old-fashioned. It is about respecting culture and the fact that she is living in somebody else’s home.

Your daughter is taking advantage of you. And what is she thinking?

Who wants their dad to bump into a man they have just met for the night? Call a meeting of the elders and talk to her seriously about her obligations to the family and the home.

They must tell her that she needs to stop her behaviour or move out.


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